tv [untitled] May 23, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
bag the big picture on tom hartman coming up in this half hour one nation under sex plus the woman who was apparently victimized by i.m.f. chief strauss had a secret weapon at her disposal player when i was just a few months and the sixty day grace period is over for the so-called war in libya so will president obama finally get the congressional stamp of approval he needs to continue that war.
as we all learned of the high profile such scandal broke regarding i.m.f. chief dominique strauss kahn a guy who was likely to become the next president of france if he didn't try to rape a hotel maid in new york city a week ago allegedly. just today new york police confirmed that semen found on the maid's dress does indeed belong to dominic strauss kahn but the case of strauss kahn highlights another more important issue that of women of no power being able to fight back against men of enormous power too often a who would you believe more frame determines the killed or innocence of powerful men accused of rape which then discourages future women from reporting incidents and given the dominic strauss kahn is one of the most powerful men bankers in the world and his alleged victim is just a hotel maid from africa it's likely that this crime would have been swept under the rug too had it not been for a secret weapon that the hotel maid had she belonged to
a union and she knew that she could take that brave step forward against strauss kahn because her union would protect her and her job wouldn't be put at risk and that's just what she did and now strauss kahn is headed for prison. so isn't this just another example unions check of the power of wealthy elites for more on this i'm joined by democratic strategist. erica welcome to ivy here great to have you with us other women have come forward since this revolution revolution saying that they had been. stayed silent in the face of similar activities including one who was a french journalist a woman who was a french journalist does this show. an immigrant made in new york. with a union behind her has more power than a fairly high profile french journalist i think it i think it does i think actually one of the very interesting things here is that new york city has one of the strongest. the most unionized hotel workers that's about thirty five percent of
hotel workers are unionized and so you pick the wrong city it's a massive a union worker it's a tough union and it's very straightforward very strong that anybody who is experiencing abuse or inappropriate behavior has the right and has the ability to report that's their superior and absolutely as their top protected and that's part of their contract they have spent years fighting for this the i think the new york hotel workers union first formed in the one nine hundred thirty s. so you know this fighting for rights of you know a particular type of worker which is in a service industry that basically makes its money off of being able to provide every convenience possible to its customers and you know you think about the typical customer is always right environment i can't think of anything more so than a three thousand dollar a night hotel room and particularly a man who is in charge of the world's economy is really feeling that he has the
ultimate ability to do whatever he wants here is a woman who is you know for lack of a better word cleaning up after him and that you know she was in a position where he had all the power and she had none. and often people report you know fail to report not just you know there if there's one issue you don't want to go through the process of having to face here accuser but it's also having the resource that mean power is really about resource allocation and this is the perfect example of somebody who had all the money quit all the power and all the position in the world versus somebody who our paper didn't except she had a union with collective bargaining rights that are gay and went to work for you know the hotel workers and made it so that they have the right to protect themselves and to fight against it was it was because women in the past had confronted this exact same situation had not had that power and had been fired for raising things like you know that they didn't put the customer first is the customer have to be replaced and there's a lot of there's
a lot of time social sexual mores and and kind of roles there where you have the maid and the master of the house and so there's a lot of kind of an odd dynamic there that often unfortunately you know puts women in this position which are often alone when they're made they're coming to service a room and to flip mattresses or change sheets so they are in particularly vulnerable position and another interesting thing is that a lot of the hotel workers are undocumented immigrants and so there's you know particularly you know a feeling that there's a lot of underreporting of you know similar behavior because you know people are afraid to kind of ruffle feathers and i think that this goes this is a great example of how you know one person with not only just the support or you know the guarantee of keeping her job but the support of a union to back her up to help her through the grievance process to help her know her rights and to educate her on her rights that's incredibly important knowledge
is so powerful and to have a group that educates you on what the pursuit for the proper procedure is what you can do and how to protect yourself i mean that's that's. if the power balance back in her favor former nixon speechwriter brown's right wing gadfly columnist i should have. gone to him. so. you know why should we believe this woman's that because he's a rich and powerful white man and because she is a hotel why isn't this kind of a typical perspective from the from the wealthy elites basically yeah and sexual assault is is often out and mostly just about power and control and domination and the fact that her employment status or her job would somehow speak to her credibility or is some sort of evidence i'm not even hearing the story but that oh she's amazing she's not credible is really so much like saying that as human right
it harkens back to the days of slavery oh it's exactly same not as human not as worthy not as valid not as you know ethical not as trust but some of that shouldn't be believed and i think that that's you know ben stein should and it's disgusting quite frankly and it's weak minded and i think that you know the other interesting thing here is that another pattern that we often see in these situations is that once one woman is brave enough or one person stands up others often come out here and so in this instance i think this is also a prime example of how the union protection not just union members but all workers and all people and that the broader culture of what is appropriate at work and a safe work environment and you know the weekend and the five ten work week that we all benefit from came from unions the fact that there's a journalist in france who didn't feel that she had enough power and support who then suddenly felt the courage to come out because of the hotel workers union in new york speaks to turn this around about what unions to level the playing field
for everybody plus their democracy in the workplace which is this little island of democracy and what normally or kingdoms are going to be thanks so much for being with us absolutely very great to hear your perspective and see. sex scandals aren't anything new in american politics either heck it's about the only thing more common in american politics than partisan bickering and negative campaign ads a list of prominent politicians have been caught with their pants down is growing after the recent news of arnold schwarzenegger's secret love child he joins the likes of former arizona senator john ensign former south carolina governor mark sanford john edwards former new york governor eliot spitzer cambridge the list goes on and on and that is politicians cheating on their wives something new in america it's just something that has garnered more attention now that there are twenty four seven cable news outlets that feed on scandal and his new book one nation under sex larry flynt argues that american presidents of actually been behaving badly since
the birth of our nation and he joins me now from our studio in los angeles he's the publisher of hustler magazine and a life long on average advocate for free speech larry welcome. larry. can you hear me. apparently larry can hear me. ok we're going to take a very quick break here we'll be back. let's not forget that we had an apartheid regime. i think. even one well.
we never got the says for the keep you safe get ready because of their freedom. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so bleak you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some of the part of it and realize that everything you saw. i'm sorry is a big. larry
flynt joins me now from our studios in los angeles he is the publisher of hustler magazine and a lifelong advocate for free speech larry welcome glad to be worth your time thank you your book your new book details the numerous american presidents who behaved badly but i do think this happened so often. i'll always wondered if the founding fathers had their sights count.
and ironically they did. play their stuff out for you whether it was how much you have a son in law or alexander and want to know why there were a lot of good lead that. five. years. it's how i am going. to manage p. mammie a. they had to be confirmed by d.n.a. and in fact he did so. for a great story like i'm curious were nixon in carter both guys who kept their pants on and and what about reagan. reagan as far as we know were true blue carded after. the bell at the end of the.
no evidence annex and. what does this say about america. may extend there as you know. more than china that it a chinese fish. which here goober maintained a file on. never really became public but we do cover it in the book well that's interesting richard nixon. summaries i always figured he was probably the last guy what does this say about americans that we feign outrage by what publishes a pornography like you do but we love politicians who are supposed to be the embodiment of morality and get away with much worse. many many americans speak with . the europeans are much more laid back than the.
thought of creation album fair that's why they take those three hour lunches but america has theirs need. me. about sex but when you consider that other than those are thirty five all the strongest single desire we have is that of which sacks so you examine something we use to communicate with more than any other medium you know make that effort and . we don't need saying they aren't saying right and they're right and wanted to be creative. and well david vitter after he came out with for being with prostitutes actually got a standing ovation from the republicans in the senate but i'm curious if french president francois mitterrand funeral his wife his mistress and his illegitimate teenage daughter all stood at his graveside did queen. victoria made out in rule
and the us crazy are we the only two countries that are crazy interview or sex. allowed to go about it till the end when i thought i was a mild guy that wrote the story on better he would stand by stupid from what he said and then beat up all and a while and the reason why oh why wrath running up was he was worse or absence in the senate he was going around there trying to please promote their absolute program you need girls i mean here. and you possibly me and i guess the only reason why we are late into the center you know is if you are . i don't. care i walk around planet by all appearances so. you came to be somebody who would know what i mean why are there and are real and i guess he somehow he got forgiven i just don't get it larry flynt thanks so much for being with us tonight. graduating great check out larry flynt's new book one nation
else and you hear see some other part of it and realize that everything you saw you don't. work because of the. crazy alert aren't going to hungary this weekend exotic weaponry was a theme of two different fast food restaurants in america in kentucky a woman threaten employees at a pizza hut with a sword and in arizona another one woman threatened workers at a dairy queen with a slightly more modern piece of weaponry a grenade both women were arrested so managers of mcdonald's and burger king are taking notice something about fast food that provokes violence the next person demanding a big mac be carrying a bazooka. last
friday marked sixty days two months since the war in libya began and there's still no formal declaration of war from congress according to our constitution congress is the only branch of government with the power to declare war and not a president turned right article one section eight of the constitution the congress shall have the power to declare war and to raise and support armies but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years. the framers of the constitution added that little last bit about the two year time limit on appropriations for war just to prevent things like and with this war and for most of american history that separation
of power between the president and the congress remained intact but then after u.s. presidents ignored congress to launch the korean war in the one nine hundred fifty s. and the vietnam war shortly thereafter congress asserted its constitutional authority to rein in richard nixon with the war powers resolution this is a new law that lets the president commit the nation to war progress but only for sixty days it's still a pretty generous handover of power of the executive branch one that in my personal opinion is clearly unconstitutional and should be rolled back by the supreme court but that's another whole nother rant it was an affront to nixon however who vetoed the war powers resolution basically saying he was going to play ball with any of these new restrictions on the power he and his recent predecessors had claimed in the oval office the congress overturned a nixon's veto and passed into law these new checks on presidential power that our
founders never intended the president to al from that point on after sixty days a president must ask congress for permission to continue a war. so now the sixty days are up in libya is president obama going to congress. know. the white house wrote a letter to the congressional leadership last week arguing that the limited nature of u.s. military involvement does not require approval from congress exactly what the white house is definition of limited is a war that's cost american taxpayers over seven hundred fifty million dollars so far and involves our military machine killing a lot of people. you've got me. but what is know is that president obama is the fifth us president in a row in a row to start his own war overseas centrex
a broad with the orders to kill and not think twice about asking congress of that's ok in fact congress hasn't stamp approval on a war since world war two the reasons for these unapproved wars over the last few decades have had numerous but most of them at least have had endgames reagan invaded greneda briefly likely taking a page from his good friend prime minister maggie thatcher in the u.k. who invaded the falkland islands for political capital that little war made her instantly pocket reagan saw that said hey we can do that and grenada helped reagan in the same way bush sr went to war in kuwait to kick out the iraqis it was mostly over oil and even set it up by having the u.s. envoy to iraq april glaspie tell saddam hussein that if he invaded kuwait the u.s. would consider it an internal affair and i'd get involved so much for april's
assurances the same to bush senior's q. and gave bush the excuse he needed to have his own war although it was short only a few days long clinton went to war in kosovo a war that was very popular but is still being debated and then george w. bush came to power thanks to the supreme court in two thousand and like reagan bush had plans to start a war for political capital but he told his biographer mickey herskowitz back in one thousand nine hundred ninety. before you even started running for president if he became president he was going to invade iraq to earn enough political capital that privatized social security. but then nine eleven happened and cetera and instead of a one time war as bush had intended he and his handlers like donald rumsfeld dick cheney opted for a perpetual war a war on terror it would last as long as this presidency was. so afghanistan happened iraq happened and countless other covert military actions in places like
yemen happen with the war on terror the george w. bush dreamed up the as they so america was for the first time involved in a war without any clear ending. a recipe for a perpetual war or well in perpetual war listen to how bush justified his endless war. we can't really count on that. he might as well have ripped his words straight from the text of orwell's one thousand nine hundred four and big brother told everyone that war is peace but last week it went on steroids to really commit america to a war ravaged dystopia last week congress took a step toward shrine in perpetual war into law with the defense authorization act it reads congress affirms that the united states is engaged in an armed conflict flicked with al qaeda the taliban and associated forces and that those entities
continue to pose a threat to the united states and its citizens the president has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict pursuant to the authorization for use of military force until the termination of hostilities . in other words war of terror war on terror which has me until all the terrorists on planet earth are killed something that will never happen. this is the worst nightmare for james madison the father of our constitution the fourth president of the united states madison wrote so eloquently that all the enemies of true liberty war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other in war madison continued the discretionary power of the president is extended its influence in dealing out offices honors and of all humans is multiplied and all the means of seducing the mines are added to those of
subduing the force of the people war is in fact the true nurse of executive of a grand eyes bent in war a physical force is to be created and it is the executive that would be the president when he starts what exactly is time in the executive branch the president and it is the executives will which is to direct it in war the public treasuries are to be unlocked and it is the executive the president's hand which is to dispense them ultimately madison said no nation no nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual work for good here we are in the midst of perpetual warfare against terrorism with our current president telling congress that he doesn't need their approval for a billion dollar war in libya and puts american soldiers in harm's way and really has nothing to do with terrorism but as psychologist abraham as low famously noted
when your only tool is a hammer every problem out there looks like nails and even though some progress is made trust obama with perpetual war powers to defeat terrorism with the next president will he or she be trusted with the wheel to america's were machine in an interview last year with journalist bob woodward president obama perhaps without realizing its application to himself so. war is hell and once the dogs of war on leashed you don't know where it's going to lead. and tragically right now our congress in a republican led effort but with very little resistance from democrats is doing everything it can to prevent the dogs of war from ever coming back home that's a big picture first and i for more information on the stories we covered you can visit our web sites at tom harkin dot com and r t dot com also check out our youtube pages of youtube dot com slash the big picture i'd see that you tube dot